The government has announced they will ban crude oil, which will also include the import of refined petroleum products, which should include jet fuel and gasoline.
At the Standing Committee on National Resource Committee, I moved a motion for the Department of Natural Resources to provide us with solid numbers on how much energy, minerals, and other products we imported from Russia and Belarus over the past 10 years.
We need a full understanding of what Canada imports from these two countries to get a better grasp of the size and scope of the natural resources that have come into our country.
As other countries start to take similar steps to ban Russian energy, we must take note of the role that Canadian natural gas can do to neuter potential threats.
Not only can we support Ukraine in its time of need, but we must also ensure Russia doesn’t have the financial means to terrorize sovereign nations.
I believe the government must prioritize projects to get Canadian natural gas can get to tidewater and displace Russian natural gas in Europe.
Russian natural gas is flowing through the veins of Putin’s war machine.
As long as it continues to flow to Europe and the world, he will continue to build bombs, missiles and rockets destined to kill innocent Ukrainians.
Let us never forget that.
Every year, billions and billions of dollars flow into the Russian government’s coffers from natural gas exports.
72% of Russia's natural gas exports go to the European Union.
Canada has the capacity to reduce that number to zero.
Since elected, I have supported ideas to grow the industry as we have the highest environmental and labour standards anywhere in the world.
On numerous occasions I have stated Canadian natural gas should be exported to replace harmful and carbon intensive products, such as coal.
I have also made the point that Canadian green technology should also be exported to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
That could include advances in nuclear technology, carbon capture, and other processes that our great Canadian innovators have developed.
The one thing I have never stated, that is until today, is the necessity to get new natural gas pipelines built to permanently displace Russian natural gas in Europe.
I am not saying this solely for domestic economic reasons, but to ensure that Europe can never be held hostage to the whims and intimidation tactics of the Putin regime.
By displacing Russian natural gas, it will curb the dollars that have been used to pay for the very weapons being currently used against Ukrainian families and children.
No one knows how long this horrible war will prolong.
We also don’t know how long the Putin and his acolytes will remain in power.
What I do know is Europe must permanently make this energy pivot.
The question we must ask ourselves, is do we wait to see what happens in the months or years ahead, or do we take a decision now?
The Putin regime must be isolated. This is already happening, but we should expedite this process in every way we can.
There are already reports of Russian energy companies not being able to sell their products, even at discounted prices.
As more countries start to implement similar bans, it will only be more difficult for them to find customers.
And I would argue, some of their existing customers, such as those in Europe, are in a very precarious position.
It will take time for new natural gas pipelines and projects to be planned, consulted on, approved, and then built.
If we prioritize these projects, we can implement an assessment process that upholds best-in-class environmental standards and sets clear expectations and timelines for environmental reviews.
We can set clear timelines so that investors get a yes or no.
And we can create high-paying jobs across the provinces and work with indigenous communities to ensure they are partners in prosperity.
We can also permanently impede the Putin regime’s potential to wage war.
If the government directed the necessary resources and immediately began to work with all levels of government, the private sector, and indigenous communities, I believe it can be done.
we know other governments are already talking about ramping up their own domestic natural gas production.
For example, the Biden administration has been talking with countries in Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Asia about stepping up natural gas production to Europe.
Would it not be better to trust our Canadian environmental and labour standards, rather than other countries filling that void?
Let’s seize this moment to help not only Ukraine, but to put in motion a plan to deal a financial blow to limit the Putin regime’s ability to wage war and threaten other nations.